The problems of mathematical cartography in GIS

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About the Author

Maxim V. Nyrtsov

Lomonosov Moscow State University,
119991, Russian Federation, Moscow, Leninskie Gory, GSP-1,


A significant number of maps is compiled using GIS. All GIS software commonly used by cartographers make use of cartographic projections which use the generic coordinate transformation software PROJ. Some existing and new projections are not included in PROJ, so today it is very important to integrate them into the software. One problem is that PROJ does not include some projections used in Soviet maps because their parameters differed from standard projections. Georeferencing and transformation of scanned maps with a set of control points leads to unsatisfactory results. Therefore, for Russian cartographers it is necessary to include non-standard Soviet map projections in PROJ and to give them unique identifiers in EPSG. A second problem is that the International Astronomical Union recommends the use of triaxial ellipsoids as reference surfaces for small Solar System bodies. Leadership in the development of triaxial ellipsoid projections for celestial body maps belongs to Russian cartographers. The developed projections are implemented as an application written in JavaScript and can be calculated by setting the initial data for the celestial body. There are three types of latitudes on a triaxial ellipsoid: planetocentric, geodesic (planetographic), and quasi-geodesic. GIS software does not include the triaxial ellipsoid as a reference surface, so there is no opportunity to choose the type of latitude and to select a projection of a triaxial ellipsoid. There is also no datum for small Solar System bodies approximated by a triaxial ellipsoid. In the future it is necessary to develop a theory of triaxial ellipsoid projections and include these projections into the PROJ software.


cartography, mathematical cartography, map projection, coordinate systems.


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For citation: Nyrtsov M.V. The problems of mathematical cartography in GIS InterCarto. InterGIS. GI support of sustainable development of territories: Proceedings of the International conference. Moscow: Moscow University Press, 2019. V. 25. Part 1. P. 332–336. DOI: 10.35595/2414-9179-2019-1-25-332-336